Wednesday, 18 September 2002
Unique meeting of faiths
The private meeting in Scottish Churches House focused on building better relations between Scotland’s religions.
Leading figures from the three largest Christian churches in Scotland met with senior members of the country’s Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Sikh, Hindu and Bahai communities.
Dignitaries included Archbishop Keith O’Brien, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, Rt Rev Dr Finlay Macdonald, Moderator of the Church of Scotland and the Most Rev Bruce Cameron, primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church.
A Muslim party included Imam Habib-ur-Rahman of the Glasgow Central Mosque and Rabbi Rubin of Giffnock Synagogue.
Each leader brought an object representing their faith to illustrate a discussion on the different religious communities in Scotland.
Archbishop O’Brien said: “My own knowledge of others, of other faiths, and of the power of love as well as the power of evil have all deepened over the past year.”
Bishop Cameron said: “The events of September 11 have highlighted how important it is to speak to each other.
“We need to have a growing understanding of each other. We need to discover some kind of shared or common language.”
The Moderator said: “For some time there has been inter-faith dialogue in Scotland.
“The events of September 11 gave new impetus to this, underlining the importance of understanding and friendship amongst different creeds and cultures.”
The need for greater support between religions follows a string of attacks nationally on mosques, churches and synagogues following September 11 last year.
A study showed that attacks on Islamic communities in the UK have risen by 72 per cent since September last year.
©Copyright 2002, Stirling Observer (Scotland)